Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Jamaica 55 a waste of money

Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I do not understand the idea of the grandiose plans for the so-called 'Jamaica 55' Independence celebrations. I heard on the news that the Government has budgeted $200 million for the celebrations. Why?

First, let me be clear: Anyone can mark any anniversary they choose. I have seen several privately owned organisations celebrate what I consider to be arbitrary years - 33 years, 17 years and 24 years. It is their right to do so, and it is their money.

But psychologically, most minds have been conditioned for celebrations in 10s: 20th, 30th, 40th, and so on.

What is so special about 55, and, if we want to observe again, why not wait until 60? Last year was 54; I never heard a word in celebration. What about 53? Are we going to celebrate 56?

It seems that as a country we just move from one headline-making announcement and from one spending spree to another, without anything of substance to justify it.

So what will the emphasis be on for '55' that we didn't celebrate in 50? The continued political tribalism where neither side is willing to embrace the other for national healing, the continuing high murder rate, and the continuing stink of corruption?

Seems to me like just another excuse to party, waste money, and to provide an opiate to soothe the masses. I will take no part or joy in it.

STEPHEN HARRISON

St Mary